Valley Health Team
Valley Health Team (VHT) operates three health centers that serve over 40,000 patients per year in San Joaquin, Kerman and other surrounding communities of rural west Fresno County. With recent approval to open a new school-based health center, VHT continues to expand services and reach to the community. Core operating support from Blue Shield of California Foundation has helped VHT to grow and while continuing to offer quality care and services to improve the health and well being for its clients.
Patients play an active role in VHT’s operations. Fifty percent of VHT board members are also patients, so there is continuous patient engagement in all aspects of their work. Recently, VHT’s mobile dental care in Kerman was denied a work permit renewal, so Kerman residents took immediate action: They collected 2,000 signatures, wrote 1,500 letters and spoke on behalf of VHT in front of the City Council. Their advocacy successfully extended the mobile dental care work permit. This was a proud victory for VHT and the community.
VHT has also invested in cultivating staff leadership. Melissa Rhoads, VHT’s chief operations officer, is a current participant in the fourth cohort of Clinic Leadership Institute (CLI), a signature program of Blue Shield of California Foundation. Melissa’s participation in CLI is helping to strengthen her leadership skills and providing her opportunities to help to improve the quality of the clinic’s work overall.